Maya Morsi, National Council for Women (NCW) president, announced at a press statement on Sunday that Your Vote for Tomorrow’s Egypt campaign succeeded in reaching 3.5 million women and their families in villages across all of Egypt’s governorates through 1,219 public meeting and 489 door-knock campaigns over 56 days.
As Egypt is about to embark on its presidential election from 26 to 28 March, for its part, the NCW launched the campaign between 28 January and 23 March 2018 across all governorates to encourage voting efforts.
The campaign aimed at raising women’s awareness about the importance of voting in the upcoming presidential election because of the significant impact of women’s voting on the development of the country and maintaining recent gains.
Moreover, Morsi added that the NCW has set up an operations room to receive women’s complaints about the electoral process at the national level, across all governorates, over the three election days in order to ensure women’s constitutional right to participate and vote in all electoral processes and to work to overcome the obstacles that women face when casting ballots.
The operations room will work during the election’s three days, until the closure of polling stations.
Throughout Egyptian history, women have been an effective civil force and to have played a great role in elections and during revolutions.
In 1951, Doria Shafik led a demonstration accompanied by 1,500 women, storming the Egyptian Parliament in order to bring the attention of its members to women’s seriousness about their political representation demands, including the right to vote and run in elections.
The protest did not end until the head of parliament promised to consider their demands.
Then, during the formation of the constitution drafting committee in 1954, Shafik and her colleagues from the Journalists Syndicate went on a hunger strike for 10 days until the governor of Cairo delivered a verbal message from the late president Mohammed Naguib, promising that the new constitution would give women their political rights to vote and contest elections.
Unsurprisingly, the Egyptian constitution of 1956 stipulated, for the first time, Egyptian women’s rights to cast ballots and seek public office.
Then, in 1957, Rawia Attia ran for Egypt’s parliamentary elections, becoming the first female parliamentary member in Egypt and the Arab world.
Egyptian women have continued their struggle throughout history, achieving several high-status positions and entering many career paths that were previously limited to men. Now, in 2018, there are six ministries led by women in the Egyptian cabinet for the first time in the country’s history.